Super Bear

By Scott Cole / March / April 2002
July 1st, 2007
Even if Drew Inzer '01 never plays another down in the National Football League, his rookie season with the New England Patriots left him with enough memories to last a lifetime. As a member of the Patriots' practice squad, Inzer was an eyewitness to New England's spirited victory over the heavily favored St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI. "What a ride for a rookie," Inzer says. "Some people play their whole career and never get to experience a Super Bowl." With his teammates Inzer also experienced a wild ride through the streets of Boston as part of the Patriots' victory parade two days later, and he's hoping to be fitted for a championship ring. "As far as I know I'll be getting one," he says. "Everyone just took off [after the celebration], but I think I'll quietly ask around when we go back for off-season conditioning."

The NFL will compensate the Patriots for 125 rings, so it's a good bet Inzer will have a Super Bowl one to add to the Ivy League championship ring he earned as a starting offensive tackle for Brown in 1999. The six-foot-four-inch, 305-pound North Smithfield, Rhode Island, native was a captain of the 2000 Bears and was signed as a free agent by the Patriots last spring. Shifted from tackle to guard by the Pats, Inzer was cut before the start of the regular season but was picked up again and assigned to the five-man practice squad.

Practice-squad players work with the team on nongame days and attend all team meetings. But they do not dress on game day or travel for road games. The exception is the Super Bowl. Because the teams hold practices in the host city, practice-squad players travel with their teams and practice during Super Bowl week. Thus Inzer found himself in the Big Easy as part of America's biggest sporting extravaganza. After a week of hard work on the field and mega-hype off it, Inzer watched from the sidelines as his teammates rocked the Rams. "I was right on the sidelines. It was just wild," he said. "Millions of people watching around the world, and I've got a front-row seat, hearing what's going on in the game plan. Anyone wants to learn and grow in their profession - and that was a great chance for me."

If the Philadelphia Eagles had beaten the Rams in the NFC championship game a week earlier, Inzer's view of the field on Super Bowl Sunday would have included former Brown teammate Sean Morey '99. Morey, who'd been out of the NFL since being cut by the Patriots last fall, was signed by the Eagles on January 8, four days before the start of the playoffs. He played on special teams, racking up a total of three tackles during playoff wins over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Chicago Bears and during in the Eagles' 29в24 loss to the Rams.

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March / April 2002